Every time Gary Ferguson thinks about smoking, he remembers how much he's gained since quitting.
Ferguson, a project consultant at Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, was a heavy smoker. He'd smoke three packs a day sometimes.
"I enjoyed the first cigarette of the day and I hated the last cigarette of the day," he said.
But it wasn't until six years ago when his then five-year-old son was diagnosed with Type-1 diabetes that he decided to quit cold turkey.
"I came to the conclusion that he needed me more than I needed cigarettes," Ferguson said.
It wasn't easy. But with a lot of support from his wife, who used to leave notes in his cigarette packs saying "Don't smoke, I love you" days without a smoke turned into weeks and months.
In the first year the Fergusons were able to buy a car with the money he'd saved by quitting. And then a few years later, he bought a motorcycle that they now take tour the country in, all thanks to his decision.
"I've gained so much," he said. "That's what I strive on is what I've actually achieved."
Ferguson's success story was highlighted a the hospital's Weedless Wednesday, an initiative that brings anti-smoking groups to the hospital cafeteria to highlight the supports out there for people who want to quit.
"Really anyone who is a smoker or who's trying to quit," preventative health services manager Kelly-Jo Gillis said.
While the event isn't new, it means a little more this year as the hospital continues to ramp up its effort to enforce its no-smoking policy on the property. This offers support to those people heading out into the cold to light up.
"It's even more important," she said.
Btu the campaign is also about getting people in the region in general to butt out. Northwestern Ontario's 26 per cent is way above the 16 per cent provincial average for smokers.
"We're really trying to work on that," she said.
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